What is a Hold-Harmless Agreement?

August 17, 2020|

A Hold-Harmless Agreement (also known as an Indemnity Agreement) allows one party to protect another party against future losses or claims resulting from a particular activity. An Indemnity Agreement is where a person indemnifies another person or promises to reimburse \ for any damages. In signing such a clause, the other party accepts responsibility for particular risks involved in contracting for the service.

Even if it wasn’t the fault of a specific party, that party might still be obligated to pay damages. Therefore, it is essential to understand the pros and cons of a Hold- Harmless Agreement before entering into this type of contractual relationship.

What is a Bill of Sale?

May 11, 2020|

Quite simply- a Bill of Sale is a document that transfers ownership of an asset from a seller to a buyer. A Bill of Sale can be used for any transaction in North Carolina, but its most typically used for the purchase and sale of used cars.
In most cases, the contract is legally binding between buyer and seller as long as the bill of sale follows guidelines that are required in North Carolina. Basically, a Bill of Sale is a receipt of purchase and is therefore somewhat difficult to enforce.
If the Bill of Sale is the only document you use in a transaction, it is best to ensure there is enough detail on it to make the transaction enforceable.

What is Cyberstalking and How is it illegal?

November 7, 2019|

Cyberstalking is a crime in which the attacker harasses a victim using electronic communication, such as e-mail or instant messaging (IM), or messages posted to a Web site or a discussion group. A cyberstalker relies upon the anonymity afforded by the Internet to allow them to stalk their victim without being detected. Cyberstalking messages differ from ordinary spam in that a cyberstalker targets a specific victim with often threatening messages, while the spammer targets a multitude of recipients with simply annoying messages.

Should you become the victim of a cyberstalker, the most effective course of action is to report the offender to their Internet service provider (ISP). Should that option be impossible, or ineffective, the best thing to do is to change your own ISP and all your online names. WHOA reports that over 80% of cases reported in 2001 and 2002 were resolved by these methods, while 17% were reported to law enforcement officials.

Read more here.

My employer physically slaps me in the workplace. What can I do?

August 28, 2019|

  • What is Assault?

    In the realm of personal injury law, assault is a purposeful act by one person that creates a fear of imminent harmful or offensive contact in another. In legalese, an assault is known as an “intentional tort” when it is made the subject of a civil case.

    Contrary to popular belief, assault does not always involve some type of physical contact, at least not when it comes to civil liability. The simple fear of a harmful or offensive touching is usually enough for an assault to have occurred; if the touching actually occurs, the physical contact is usually considered a “battery” in civil law, although both claims are often made together. Learn more about assault and battery as personal injury claims.

    Elements of Assault

    If you are going to file an assault lawsuit, there are a few main elements you must be able to prove:

    • an intentional action on the part of the defendant
    • the defendant’s intention to cause apprehension of harm, and
    • your resulting reasonable apprehension of immediate harm.

To learn more, visit here.

Can my HOA place a lien or foreclosure on my home for unpaid dues?

August 15, 2019|

In North Carolina, an HOA or COA is entitled to a lien for unpaid assessments and related charges once the amount due is 30 days late. The lien becomes effective when the HOA or COA files a claim of lien with the clerk of the superior court in the county where the property is located (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 47F-3-116(a), § 47C-3-116(a)).

State law and the HOA or COA’s governing documents, such as the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) and bylaws, will often set out the type of charges that may be included in the lien. In North Carolina, an HOA or COA is permitted to include the following in its lien (unless the governing documents provide otherwise):

  • Past-due assessments
  • Late charges (not to exceed the greater of $20 per month or 10% of any unpaid assessment) (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 47F-3-102(11), § 47C-3-102 (11))
  • Fines for violations of the CC&Rs
  • Interest on past-due common expense assessments (not to exceed 18% per year) (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 47F-3-115(b), § 47C-3-115(b)), and
  • Other charges (such as those connected with the preparation and recordation of documents, including amendments to the declaration or statements of unpaid assessments). (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 47F-3-116(a), § 47C-3-116(a))

What do I do if I slip and fall in a restaurant?

July 26, 2019|

Restaurant customers are injured every day by slip and fall accidents. Uneven flooring, poorly maintained parking lots, and snow-covered sidewalks are hazards that lead to slip and fall injuries at any business. Restaurants have an additional high risk of customer injuries caused by spilled food and drinks.

Every state has laws that hold restaurant owners to a duty of care to provide a safe environment for customers. This means restaurant owners must do everything reasonably possible to make sure their customers don’t get injured.

A restaurant’s duty of care includes not only following government laws and regulations but also considering events that might foreseeably harm customers. This doesn’t mean every event, just those that similar restaurant owners and managers can reasonably expect.

Rear End Collisions

July 8, 2019|

Unless the rear-ending driver can prove that there were extenuating circumstances—such as being pushed by another car—it is likely that the rear-ending driver will be liable for the injured party’s injuries. As always, it is prudent to contact a local attorney when faced with the prospect of bringing or defending a lawsuit.


In North Carolina, you can file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for damages associated with a rear-end car accident. Damages that may be awarded in a rear-end car accident case include:

  • Medical costs
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage

Can I sue my spouse’s lover for our becoming divorced?

June 7, 2019|

“I can live without money, but I cannot live without love.”  This sentiment — voiced by Judy Garland, who married five times and boasted a net worth of $20 million at the time of her death — might explain why Keith King does not count himself a victor, even after a judge in North Carolina ordered another man to pay him $8.8 million for wrecking his marriage.

But because of precepts borrowed from English common law, there actually is a dollar amount — $2.2 million in compensatory damages and $6.6 million in punitive damages, according to a decision last week by a Superior Court judge in Durham, N.C. The judge found that an affair lasting more than a year harmed King through criminal conversation, meaning adultery, and alienation of affection, meaning responsibility for marital fracture, typically through enticement.

Alienation of Affection in North Carolina is when someone takes away the affections of one spouse for another destroying the marriage. the state also recognizes the claim of Criminal Conversation, which involves the act of having sex with someone else’s spouse. Check out our family law section for more information

The legal argument is scarcely more intricate than this: He had a happy marriage until someone came along and lured away from his wife.

For more information, see this link. and please contact Shipman & Wright today if we can help you with any of your legal issues.

Understanding Damages

May 9, 2019|

Understanding Damages- is it worth filing a lawsuit?

Compensatory damages (sometimes called general damages) are monetary damages awarded to an injured or wronged individual or business to put them in the position they would have been had the wrong not occurred. It is important to note that the definition does not include getting money from a defendant to penalize them or provide the plaintiff with an advantageous outcome but simply put to make the injured party whole again. There are opportunities for punitive damages or recovery of attorney’s fees to deter bad behavior by the offending party, but these are relatively rare and generally upon the discretion of the judge overseeing the lawsuit, and have been rarely awarded in any substantial amounts in North Carolina Courts.

Another form of damages that may be present in a breach of contract action are liquidated damages if they were outlined in the subject contract and are a reasonable expectation of damages actually caused by the breach. Punitive damages may be awarded if the court finds that the defendant’s actions resulting in the injury or loss were reckless or malicious. As a form of punitive damages certain statutes, such as under the NC Unfair and Deceptive Practices Act, allow the possible recovery of double or even triple (“treble”) damages, or attorneys’ fees to the winning party, where there was irreprehensible conduct on the part of the defendant. Statutory opportunities for the recovery of attorneys’ fees for a successful plaintiff provide great impetus for an attorney to take on and pursue a matter. It could be helpful to consult with an attorney to discover if there may be an opportunity for statutory punitive damages or the recovery of attorneys’ fees for any claims in a potential matter. For more information, see this link. and please contact Shipman & Wright today if we can help you with any of your legal issues.

What is a Class Action Lawsuit?

May 6, 2019|

A class-action lawsuit in a civil lawsuit that is brought by one person or a few people on behalf of a larger group of people who have suffered similar harm or have a similar claim. Class actions can be brought in either federal or state courts, though a recent federal law, the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005, makes it easier for defendants to move class-action lawsuits from state to federal courts.

For more information, see this link. and please contact Shipman & Wright today if we can help you with any of your legal issues.

Is it legal for my employer to keystroke me without my knowledge?

May 3, 2019|

Yes, employers have this right. Some states require employers to notify employees about monitoring. North Carolina is not one of those states.

According to the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), an employer-provided computer system is the property of the employer. Therefore, employers that provide you with a computer system and Internet access are free to monitor almost everything that you do with the computer and Internet access with which you have been provided. This is especially true when an employer gives you a written policy regarding the monitoring of your computer use». (‘Social Networking & Computer Privacy’ by Workplace Fairness)

For more information, see this link. and please contact Shipman & Wright today if we can help you with any of your legal issues.

Is sending someone a lewd gag gift by a mail order service illegal?

May 2, 2019|

This is probably not a good idea. You are also evoking the Jurisdiction of the Federal Government. So, it would be ok if the person you are pranking knows you, and you are identified as a friend of this person. But if you do not identify yourself, and this person decides that this is a threat, rather than a joke, you may be in some trouble.

For more information, read here. Please contact Shipman & Wright today if we can help you with any of your legal issues.

Road Debris

April 30, 2019|

Individuals who suffer injury or property damage, such as vehicles damaged because of a pothole or mailbox knocked down as a result of a snow plow, can file a tort claim to request reimbursement for damages. For more information, read the NC Department of Transportation’s website here. Please contact Shipman & Wright today if we can help you with any of your legal issues.

Worker’s Compensation

April 29, 2019|

Is a North Carolina Business Required to Carry Workers Compensation? What Can I do if injured at work and they do not carry it?

The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act requires that all businesses that employ three or more employees, including those operating as corporations, sole proprietorships, limited liability companies, and partnerships, obtain workers’ compensation insurance or qualify as self-insured employers for purposes of paying workers’ compensation benefits to their employees.

Penalties for Employers who do not may face the following:

1) Face stiff financial penalties;
2) Be charged with a misdemeanor;
3) Be charged with a felony; and
4) Be imprisoned.

Read more here. Please contact Shipman & Wright today if we can help you with any of your legal issues.

At-Will Employment

April 22, 2019|

How At-Will Employment Works

At-will employment has two main purposes:

It allows employees and employers to work together without long term contracts or promises from either party. If an employee doesn’t like a job or gets a better opportunity elsewhere, they are free to leave. If an employer wants to change wages, benefits, or let someone go, they can do so freely as well.

It can be a defense for employers in a wrongful termination lawsuit. Most employers hope never to have to defend themselves in court over terminating an employee. The best employers have good documentation when they fire someone, such as performance reviews kept in the employee’s personnel file.

Bottom Line

There are so many exceptions to the at-will employment doctrine, that it’s in an employer’s best interest to follow sound HR practices, including stating that “employment is at will” in all employee documentation. Employers should document involuntary terminations with a valid rationale so that they’re prepared in advance to defend themselves against a wrongful termination lawsuit, should one be filed.

For more information, read here. If we can help, call us.

How to deal with a neighbor’s bad curb appeal

April 19, 2019|

Purple paint. Peeling siding. Junk. Trash. Unkempt lawns. When a house on your block commits the sin of bad curb appeal, sometimes it’s just an eyesore. Other times, it can be hazardous, impacting your quality of life. A yard piled with junk or littered with trash might attract rats, for example. Worst of all, if you’re trying to refinance your mortgage or sell your home, your neighbor’s ugly property can cost you time and money.

If your own property is pristine, its appraisal value still will suffer if even one other home on your block looks bad. Your house probably will sit on the market longer and sell for less. If you have to act, you have plenty of options, from playing nice to going to court. Here are 8 ways to restore visual harmony — and your home’s value. For more information, read here. If we can help, call us.

Injury To Me While Allegedly Resisting Arrest

April 15, 2019|

Injury To Me While Allegedly Resisting Arrest: Building a Case to Sue the Police: Difficult But Not Impossible

It is common to want to sue the police after unpleasant contact or friction, especially when the conflict resulted in an arrest that seemed unwarranted, unfair, or downright abusive. Suing the police is complicated, though, even when you have been a victim of some kind of police misconduct and are absolutely innocent with regard to your arrest. Suing the police for abuse or other violations can be an arduous task not only because of the time and expense involved but also due to certain legal protections that apply to police. However, it is possible to successfully sue the police by becoming aware of the law’s allowances and limitations, carefully building a solid case, and staying the course.

For more information, read here.

Boundary Disputes With a Neighbor

April 10, 2019|

Encountering a boundary dispute with an adjacent neighbor is a fairly common issue for landowners. There are many ways a boundary dispute can arise. Sometimes, deed descriptions are inaccurate and have been this way for a long time. Sometimes, though the neighbors all agree that the legal description is correct, one neighbor has been occupying a portion of the land for long enough to claim ownership of it, under a theory of “adverse possession.”

First, make sure you have a full understanding of the cause and nature of the dispute. You will need to get a professional analysis of whether you are encroaching on your neighbors’ property or vice versa and find out how long the encroachment has gone on, how much land is being encroached upon, and whether permission was ever given to encroach. For more information, read here.

What are the differences between libel, slander, and defamation of character?

April 9, 2019|

Libel and slander are both types of defamation. Libel is an untrue defamatory statement that is made in writing. Slander is an untrue defamatory statement that is spoken orally. The difference between defamation and slander is that a defamatory statement can be made in any medium. For a more detailed definition, please visit this LegalZoom article.

North Carolina’s Definition of Defamation

Under North Carolina defamation law, libel is the publication of false statements about another in written or broadcast form, while slander consists of spoken false statements about another.

For North Carolina defamation plaintiffs to succeed in their libel or slander lawsuit, they must prove the following four (4) elements:

-A false statement of fact;

-Cause of injury to the plaintiff’s reputation;

-Of and concerning the plaintiff;

-Published to a third person.

For more information, read here. Or contact us today. 

What is Predatory Lending?

April 5, 2019|

What is Predatory Lending and if I don’t pay back a loan?

Predatory lending benefits a lender at the expense of a borrower. Practices include charging unfair fees and rates or setting borrowers up for failure. Read more info here.

No, the “worse case scenario” would be a judgment against you on the records at the courthouse. They cannot arrest you, take your house, or your car, garnish your wages, attach to your taxes, etc. For more information, read here. Or contact us today. 

Harassment in the workplace

April 1, 2019|

All employees have the right to work in an environment free from discrimination and harassing conduct. No State employee shall engage in conduct that falls under the definition of unlawful workplace harassment, including sexual harassment, or retaliation, and no employment decisions shall be made on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, age, color, disability, genetic information or political affiliation.

For more information, read here.


What’s the Difference Between Medical Malpractice and Negligence?

March 28, 2019|

In some circles, the terms “negligence” and “medical malpractice” are used interchangeably. However, there are clear differences. In reality, medical malpractice is a subcategory of negligence. Both of these concepts require a medical professional’s actions or lack of action to lead to the injury or death of a patient. However, in the case of medical malpractice, the medical provider takes action or fails to take action with the knowledge that the patient may suffer harm. In the case of negligence, on the other hand, the medical provider makes a mistake and/or doesn’t know that his or her actions will be harmful. Medical malpractice is considered more serious than medical negligence.  For more information, read here.


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